It’s the traditional time to get into fitness – the beginning of a new year. Whether you’re looking to get a little fitter, build some muscle or fit into that freakum dress, the road to liberating your inner fitness boss will take tremendous hard work, sweat and yes, even tears. Before you even consider signing up for the gym or any exercise regime, your “body goals” are usually plastered in the vision board of your mind. By the time you sign up, you enter the gym kitted out in your P.T clothes, towel and water bottle in hand, looking like a hopeful teenager on their first day of High school. It\’s when you see the dizzying amount of equipment that you start to panic. Treadmills, bicycles, big mean machines, that group over there doing burpees…where do you go? What do you do?
Depending on your age, preference and goals your routines may look a little different, but should generally include strengthening, stretching, balance and aerobics (aka cardio).
Some medical aid funds even offer discounts if you can prove you are an active gym memeber.
Exercise regime in your 20s
If you’re in your 20s, lucky you! Your body is still flexible enough to bend itself into a pretzel without making you feel like you’ve signed up for bootcamp. You’re basically an anything goes type of person. You can treadmill, spin cycle, kick box…even run a marathon. Your body adjusts faster to changes in activity, so getting abs like Beyonce or shoulders like Dwayne Johnson is that much easier. This is the time to push yourself, go for those big goals. Train for the Comrades, climb Kilimanjaro, swim the Midmar Mile. You are limited only by your ambition and attitude to exercise.
Exercise regime in your 30s
We get to 30 and things start to zone into focus, and your knees start to jerk a little. How your exercise choices negatively impact your body starts to matter more to you. You also have a career to maintain, you work on a schedule…you are getting yourself together. Research that was conducted at Toronto General Hospital asked women in their 30s why they don’t exercise. Results showed that “40% don’t have the time, 40% don’t have the willpower”. More women in this age group are inclined to go for milder exercise like yoga and pilates, that help them stretch and strengthen their core without impacting too heavily on their joints. Many women also sign up for online classes with a one-on-one trainer instructor that helps them navigate their routine according to their needs and time available.
That’s not to say you can’t go for the big goals at this age. You should still have plenty of energy left for big moves, especially if you’ve been fond of exercise all along. Kicking off in your 30s will be a lot harder, but worth so much more.
Exercise regime in your 40s
By age 40, that back pain that was a rumour in your 30s is now a solid fact. Your bone density and muscle strength decrease with age and your joints start making sounds similar to ice clinking in your glass of bourbon. At this point, you deserve a high-five and a pat on the back for venturing into actually…exercising. You should take it very very easy, because you know… your back, your knees and your joints! What’s recommended for 40 plus exercise enthusiasts is moderate aerobics activity for *only* 30 minutes, muscle strengthening exercises like carrying heavy shopping bags and lifting light weights – slowly. Balance exercises like yoga or pilates twice a week start becoming much more important at this age.
Exercise regimes from 50 onwards
The time for high-intensity taxing workouts is long gone at this point, but that doesn’t mean you can stop working out altogether. Staying fit remains important, especially for heart health and mental acuity. Take a walk around your neighbourhood every day or so, consider swimming, and don’t neglect your balancing exercises. Maintaining good balance is important to reducing your risk of fall-related injuries, and should be continued as long as you are able to keep going.
So whatever regime you choose for yourself, always ask for help so you can optimize your exercise according to your needs. Results are guaranteed if you choose options that are tailor made to your liking and what’s always important is that you pace yourself to get to your goal. Show up for yourself, and before you know it you’ll have your dream body just staring right back at you in the mirror. There are no shortcuts, consistency, hard work and patience. At whatever age, it’s always grand to remember the cliche that “your body is your temple”. So go on, you got this!
Age 20 plus: Kanye West – The New Workout Plan (Long Version)
Age 30 plus: Janelle Monáe, Jidenna – Yoga